drawing, Food, Life, sketchbook

A study in skins

I was 8 when I copied my first Cezanne, in the drawing class we used to attend, held every Sunday in the parish hall at the local church. There was no looking back after that. I was mesmerized by the color palettes and the compositions, though I didn’t know all these terms then. I went on to copy the old masters for a decade, running through all of the teacher’s copies of Cezanne, Renoir and Van Gogh prints, and later from my uncle’s fabulous Great Masters’ collection at home. I’m not sure what I learnt, back then, but I became familiar with the artists, their colors and lines and brush strokes.

These onion studies are a far cry from those days. It’s been decades since I attempted any color studies but oh what joy!

Inspired by the this lovely poem by Harryette Mullen:

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Life, sketchbook

An hour is not a house

Last year I discovered the poetry of Jane Hirshfield. Award-winning poet, essayist and more, she set aside her writing to study Zen Buddhism for many years.

Reading poetry is a deeply personal experience. What resonates with me in her poetry is the minimalism, the spirituality shorn of all excess, and the “moments of insight” that every poem reveals.

Sketches while reading An hour is not a house

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Books, sketchbook

Books of 2020

Like everyone else, I probably broke my all time record for reading in 2020, so this is going to be the first of a series of book posts over the months.

Spring 2020 – Grapefruit by Yoko Ono, Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, Michael Rosen’s Book of Play and Keep Going by Austin Kleon.

Grapefruit was an experience – I found that it was an “early example of conceptual art“. I go back to The Book of Play and Keep Going again and again, both are inspirational and great for sparking ideas.

I don’t remember much about Daily Rituals, though, except that it gathered the routines of a large and diverse set of people, and it really doesn’t matter whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, or whether you get up at 5 am like Medium articles recommend! Here are some of the sketches I had made while reading it – about Patricia Highsmith and Frederico Fellini.

Some other book posts from 2020: Sputnik Sweetheart (So many vaccine puns :P), a bit from Ruined by Design in The Difference between Friday and a Fried Egg (mustread for designers today) and Letters from Tove in Fjords & Islands

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Books, Life, sketchbook

The difference between Friday and a fried egg

Monday arrived with Max makes a million. Which of course reminded me of Swami on Rye: Max in India which has one of my favorite love poems.

Tuesday was busy.

On Wednesday and Thursday lunch was even better with Ruined by Design.

Friday began with us reading Who ate my book.

Saturday ended with this insight from Yo-Yo Ma:

“But the mental process, the emotional process, the psychic investment, in trying to make something easy is infinitely hard…”

Yo-Yo Ma

So now you know the difference between Friday and a fried egg!

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People, sketchbook, travels

More people watching

Here’s another trip from last year. I’m one of those people who always reaches early for flights, and now you know why…

Traveling is such a great time to draw. So many people of different kinds and origins in one place.

Also random thoughts: How much does the mouth extend when you yawn? I can feel it but not really observe it.

On this particular day I may have been feeling quite charitable:

Drawing is a way to observe, Watch without judgement. I think you can see the empathy in the lines when you have drawn without prejudice…”

More people watching in airports: Travelers (Del-Mun 2013), Airport people (CPH 2010), More airport people (Del-Hel 2010), Flying (Del-SFO 2017), and the more recent People watching in Kolkata and Own your presence Bengali 2020.

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Life, sketchbook

Getting into weekends

Often during the work week I am terribly challenged finding a few minutes to draw, so you can imagine that on Friday evenings I have all these pent up drawings just struggling to be expressed.

But then of course there’s the household calling or your energy levels need bolstering…

But then, there’s always revival after the end – and I usually make a memento.

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Reflection, sketchbook

Looking back at the wilderness years

I spent the week with the early sketchbooks and it was nice to be able to join the dots and see how I found my creative voice. I was cute, so innocent and honest – it’s really endearing. Of course there were periods of confusion, loss of identity – but I’m still here. (Yay for WordPress!) So grateful to be able to draw…Thank you universe.

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